Getting an early start on your career is encouraged if you want to enter the modeling industry. You can gain experience with jobs like acting as a brand ambassador, modeling for local stores, selling your pictures online, or proactively seeking clients. Below, we have the list of legitimate modeling gigs to help you learn your craft and gain experience.
The List of Modeling Jobs for Teenagers
We’ve all heard stories of models being discovered at random in shopping malls, but if you truly want to succeed in the field of modeling, there are some steps you can take other than waiting for a scout to find you. As a teen, taking the initiative to find modeling jobs in your area and gain experience can help you move toward your career goals. Some of the legitimate jobs that can help you get started as a model are:
Become a Brand Ambassador
If you have a friendly and outgoing personality, becoming a brand ambassador may be a perfect fit for you. A brand ambassador is someone who is hired to represent a brand in a positive light, thereby bringing awareness and building trust with customers.
Typically, these are jobs take place at events like music festivals and trade shows. They are usually part-time. Brand ambassador gigs can also be found on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Craigslist. You can also check with your favorite stores and companies to see if they work directly with ambassadors. Clothing retailers Faviana have ambassador programs.
Model for Local Stores
Local stores often need models for in-store events and advertising campaigns. Costume shops, department stores holding fashion shows, and local boutiques need models for their print ads, events, and social media posts. Even working as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, or an elf at Santa’s Village can give you valuable experience and exposure as a model.
These modeling jobs are typically not posted on the store’s career website. (A quick search of JCPenney, Kohl’s, and Party City shows no job listings or categories for in-store or print modeling.) You can visit a local mall to ask about current or upcoming openings, check job listings in your local newspapers, or check Craigslist and other online sources.
When searching for modeling jobs online, be sure to check that the jobs are posted by legitimate stores. Confirm the details of the job by phone or email before interviewing, don’t give out your personal information until you know the opportunity is legitimate, and be cautious of postings that offer unreasonably high rates.
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Sell Your Pictures Online
There are a lot of credible sites online where you can sell your photos. When someone uses the image, you receive a royalty. The royalty amount and photo requirements vary by company, but your share of the profit can be anywhere from 15% (for a still photo sold with Getty Images) to 60% (for exclusive contributors with Dreamstime). Many professional photographers get their start or make extra side income on these websites, too. Websites that accept submissions for stock photos include:
- iStock by Getty Images
- Can Stock Photo
Be an Entrepreneur
If you really want to pursue modeling as a career, be your own advocate. Actively pursue clients and work with local photographers to build your portfolio.
Your first priority should be to build your portfolio, collecting a selection of high-quality shots taken by skilled photographers. Reach out to photographers in your area on Instagram, on Model Mayhem, or by doing a Google search for professional photographers in your area.
Once you have a variety of photos, put together an online portfolio. Social media has also become an important tool for self-promotion and scouting in modeling. When choosing between two equally talented models, the one with more followers is likely to get the job in today’s market, according to representatives from Wilhelmina Models in an interview with StyleCaster. Your social media, and in particular your Instagram profile, should represent your “brand” and your personality.
With your portfolio prepared, you can begin reaching out to brands. You should not only pitch yourself but pitch specific ideas in order to catch the brand’s attention. Tag brands you want to work with on Instagram or find the email or LinkedIn profile of someone who works in the PR or marketing department.
If you’re willing to put in the effort and get creative, there are plenty of ways to gain experience with modeling as a teen. You can become a brand ambassador, model for local store advertisements and events, work as a stock photographer/model, or create relationships with brands as an entrepreneur.